We’re having our annual Eye Ball in a couple weeks at the Museum of Science and Industry:
Kwong Yee Cheng/Creative Commons
I think Eye Ball is one of the commonalities between optometry schools all over the world. My friends studying optometry in Canada, Hong Kong and Australia all have one. All the students and some faculty dress up in fancy clothes get together for a night of fun in between cramming for various tests and practicals.
At the 2012 Eye Ball, in Navy Pier’s Crystal Gardens
Last year, I scrambled everywhere looking for a dress. Lucky for me, I was able to get the red one you see above last minute on clearance for just $25! I promised myself I wouldn’t let that happen again, and shop early for the next Eye Ball.
Trying not to eat my M&M chips during a serious match of border Bingo!
This last Wednesday, the RC held a bingo competition with some pretty sweet prizes. Quite a few fellow students and I showed up at the Lecture Center ready to go, with our game faces on and bingo chips at the ready. You may be asking yourself, what would motivate grad students to congregate back in a classroom to play such a game? The prizes, of course! This was brown bag bingo, meaning the winners each received a grocery bag packed full of the snacks and treats we crave while studying. Oreos, candy bars, Starbucks energy drinks, M&M’s and two-pound bags of Twizzlers were but a few of the fabulous contents. Making things even better, as the last bag was claimed, organizers announced that $10 Target gift cards would be the next round of prizes!
Drs. Roy and Associates is where my love for optometry started and grew. Back in 2009, I found their job posting on Craigslist for a technician, and I applied for the job to gain some patient exposure while making some extra income. I worked with six amazing optometrists, all ICO alums, who gave me wonderful insight and unique perspectives on the profession. After working as an optometric technician for over a year, I applied to ICO and follow in their optometric footsteps.
Top: with Debra Simon, OD ’01 (left) and Cara Ystad, OD ’05 (middle)
Bottom: I am a queen of Optomap, a good screening tool for viewing patient’s retina without the hassel of dilating pupils.
I’m lucky to have these optometrists to look up to, and I’ve continued my relationship with the practice, keeping in touch with all of the doctors and staff members. During my first year at ICO, I continued to help them out by traveling to Wisconsin and assisting during busy times. I’m fortunate that now, during second year, I’ve been able to work at the practice even more.
Optometry school is really expensive and money becomes a great stressor for a lot of us. You’re borrowing so much for tuition and essential living expenses that any out-of-the-ordinary financial circumstances are difficult to swallow. When I expressed frustration about this during a phone conversation with one of the practice’s owners, she was generous enough to offer me the opportunity to return to Wisconsin to work for a weekend or two whenever my scheduled allowed. I think I’m one of a very lucky few people who gets to work whenever I can.
Last Friday, I mingled with friends from undergrad while taking in one of my favorite annual events. While at the University of Chicago, I was a member of MODA, a fashion platform on campus that catered to students’ more creative and stylish side. My fellow members and I wrote for the fashion and lifestyle, interviewed style influencers for the print magazine and designed pieces for the big annual event–the spring fashion show.
This year, I attended the fete as a guest and was met with a sea of familiar and new faces. I took in the runway show from the VIP section with a fellow MODA alum. The event took place in the Great Hall at Union Station and drew a huge crowd from both the university and the community. Over 70 designs were presented on student models. These looks were designed by a wide range of talent, from students who’d picked up sewing within the past year to established professionals like Lidia Wachowska of Evil Kitty. My favorite designs included beautiful and ultra-feminine dresses, and one look that was positively desert chic.
Design by Concetta Cipriano for Cettina Designs
Design by University of Chicago student Joy Mao
One of my favorite places in the city is the Art Institute of Chicago, on Michigan Avenue in the Loop. The Art Institute’s vast inventory–the permanent collection is one of the largest in the country at more than 260,000 works–is housed in eight buildings that total nearly one million square feet. The museum also hosts hundreds of gallery talks and lectures each year, and it’s home to a terrific research library for art and architecture. I’ve been to the Art Institute countless times–due in part to my complimentary membership from the University of Chicago–and I always appreciate the art I’m immersed in. Among the 30 or so special exhibits at the museum each year, there are always a few that make my must-see list.
I’m very lucky this year, as I got to celebrate my birthday during break week when we don’t have anything to study for (unlike blogger Michelle!). My friends came to Chicago to visit me, and we decided to try out the food that Chicago is best known for: deep dish pizza. When it comes to eating, the number-one thing anyone should do while visiting Chicago is to try the pizza. I don’t know if it’s because we’re so close to Wisconsin, but if you’re a cheese lover, our pizzerias are extremely generous with their portions of cheese.
We couldn’t decide on a single pizza place to try out, so we decided to choose three popular spots and decide which one served up the best pie. We settled on Lou Malnati’s, Connie’s and Giordano’s.
First stop: Lou Malnati’s
The Lou Malnati’s menu–one of the few times the real thing looked better than in the pictures
We visited Lou’s first because it was on the way to the Shedd Aquarium. I guess it depends on which of the 35 locations you go to, but at the South Loop restaurant, the decor was like any other average restaurant. The atmosphere was casual and there wasn’t a line, even at the height of the lunch hour. We ordered the Malnati Chicago Classic–butter crust deep dish, with spinach, sausage and mushrooms.
My slice of pizza in its full cheesy delicious glory
I wish I could say that the pictures do it justice, but they don’t. The cook time for the pizza was 30-40 minutes, but it was worth it. The cheese was perfectly melted and stringy, topped with fresh, chunky tomato sauce. The toppings added great flavor but didn’t overpower the cheese or sauce. I’m not normally a crust-lover, but the butter crust was flaky and soft like a delicious freshly baked biscuit. It was so good that I cleaned my plate. I must note that I’ve tried Lou’s on other occasions, like ordering it for delivery when I was too lazy to go outside. It was good in the past, but not like this time. I’ve also tried on another occasion to order the classic without the butter crust, and again, it wasn’t the same. The only complaint I have is that the pizza seemed smaller than the average medium that I would get from any other pizza shop.